For most people, falling asleep and staying asleep are parts of a natural process. Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but distractions and bad habits keep us awake. Good sleepers are likely to have developed certain lifestyle and dietary habits that promote sound sleep. These habits or behaviors – known as sleep hygiene – can have positive effects on sleep before, during, and after time spent in bed. Sleep hygiene is mostly a matter of common sense, but the techniques suggested below may help you sleep better on a regular basis.
Keep regular sleep habits. Establish a rhythm by going to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, including weekends and days off.
Exercise regularly, preferably in the morning. If not possible, finish at least three hours before bedtime.
Relax. Take a warm bath, drink a cup of warm milk, or read a book.
Eat healthy, and while a light snack before bedtime can help promote sound sleep, avoid large meals – especially late.
Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol prior to retiring are additional factors that can worsen one’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Create an environment conducive to sleep. Make your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
Leave your worries at the bedroom door. If you’re concerned about something, make a list of the steps you’ll take to solve the problem or leave yourself a voicemail message.
Your bed should be for sleep or sickness only. If you are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quite activity elsewhere. Do not permit yourself to fall asleep outside the bedroom. Return to bed when – and only when – you are sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary throughout the night. Do not read, watch TV, or do work in bed for an extended time.
Avoid napping during the daytime. If daytime sleepiness becomes overwhelming, limit nap time to a single nap of 20 minutes of less, and no later than 5 p.m.
For more information or if you’d like to discuss treatment options, call the Northside Hospital Sleep Disorders Center near you.
Q. What do I need to do to prepare for the sleep study?
A. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or napping the day of the test. Bring comfortable clothing to sleep in, your pillow, toiletries, and any medications you take. Please eat your normally scheduled meal before you arrive. Shower and wash your hair the day of the test but avoid using hair products. Also make sure you bring your insurance card and a valid driver’s license/picture ID with you.
Q. Should I take my current medication(s)?
A. Yes. Unless specifically instructed by your physician, please take your medication(s) as usual. However, if your medication makes you drowsy, please bring them with you and take at the sleep center so you arrive safely. Also, please bring any medicine you will need during the night or in the morning. The Sleep Center is unable to provide medications. In rare cases, your physician may prescribe a sleeping pill for the overnight sleep study. If so, please remember to bring this with you. It is very important for the sleep staff to know what medications you are taking since many medications can affect your sleep.
Q. What will happen when I arrive for my sleep study?
A. Overnight guests can usually schedule their arrival at the sleep center from 7:30 – 9:30pm; however, we try to be as flexible as possible to suit your individual needs. After you are checked into the lab, a sleep technician will greet you and show you to your room. The technician will explain the set-up procedure and answer any questions you may have. You should inform the technician of any changes in your sleep or specific difficulties you have not discussed with your physician. You will then be given time to change into your pajamas and get ready for bed. Next, the technician will get you connected to the sensors for monitoring during the study.
Q. What will happen during the sleep study?
A. A sleep study is a recording of measurements used to identify various sleep conditions. During testing, small sensors are applied to your skin with adhesive pads. These are necessary to monitor brain waves, muscle movement, breathing, snoring, and heart rate. A soft belt is placed around your chest and waist to monitor your breathing. Finally, a sensor is attached to your finger to record your oxygen levels. None of these devices are painful and all are designed to be as comfortable as possible and allow you to turn and move during sleep. You will also be able to get out of bed and use the restroom. Simply use the call bell and the technician will quickly unhook you from the sensors and you will be free to use your private bathroom.
Q. What will happen after my sleep study?
A. Overnight guests can expect to be discharged between 6:00-6:30AM. Please note that at most locations you will be served a complimentary, continental breakfast. If you have an early commitment in the morning, be sure to inform the technician so they will be able to make sure you are able to leave on time. Daytime study guests can expect to be discharged between 5:00-5:30PM. Please note that you will be served a complimentary breakfast or lunch, depending on your type of study. Once the study is complete, all patients will be given a summary report that outlines their next steps. Often the next step is having a follow-up appointment with your physician or a sleep center physician to discuss the results of your study. After you depart, your sleep study is analyzed and the scored results are produced for the physician to interpret.
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Phone: (404) 236-8200
Fax: (404) 236-8203
Northside Sleep Disorders Centers
993-C Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 236-8200
15 Reinhardt College Parkway
Canton, GA 30114
Phone: (770) 345-2568
1100 Northside Forsyth Drive
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: (770) 844-3984
Sleep Disorders Center of Georgia
5505 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 257-0080
1357 Hembree Road
Roswell, GA 30076